AUSTRAC investigates Crown Resorts over anti-money laundering compliance breaches

AUSTRAC investigates Crown Resorts over anti-money laundering compliance breaches

Australia's financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC has launched an investigation into potential non-compliance with anti-money laundering laws at Crown Melbourne.

The announcement comes a year after independent MP Andrew Wilkie released whistleblower footage of alleged money laundering at the casino, which is owned by Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN).

In a statement published on the ASX, Crown noted the potential non-compliance included concerns around ongoing customer due diligence, as well as adopting, maintaining and complying with an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing program.

"These concerns were identified in the course of a compliance assessment that commenced in September 2019 and focussed on Crown Melbourne's management of customers identified as high risk and politically exposed persons," Crown said.

"The matter has been referred to AUSTRAC's Enforcement Team, which has initiated a formal enforcement investigation into the compliance of Crown Melbourne.

"Crown Melbourne will respond to all information requests in support of the investigation and fully co-operate with AUSTRAC in relation to this process."

In October last year Andrew Wilkie released footage of activities at the casino he claimed was provided by Victorian gambling inspectors who were frustrated that alleged crimes were not being investigated.

"The inspectors who have provided these videos say countless millions of dollars are regularly laundered inside Crown," Wilkie said at the time, as he called for a Royal Commission into the country's casino industry.

"Misconduct on this scale can only occur if Crown is confident it has political cover, and if numerous agencies fail to do their jobs.

"This is a demonstration of catastrophic failure on the part of the major parties, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police, Border Force and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)."

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